Walpole Bay cliffs, Cliftonville
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
Cliftonville is a coastal area of the town of Margate, situated to the east of the main town, in the Thanet district of Kent, South East England, United Kingdom. It also contains the area known as Palm Bay.
The original Palm Bay estate was built in the 1930s as a number of large, wide avenues with detached and semi-detached houses with driveways, garages and gardens. This land was sold by Mr Sidney Simon Van Den Bergh to the Palm Bay Estate Co on 23 June 1924. Such avenues include Gloucester Avenue and Leicester Avenue.
The estate covers the eastern part of Cliftonville and was fields when the first was built. It extends east beyond Northumberland Avenue and has been developed in phases. An earlier phase covered the northern ends of Leicester and Gloucester Avenues and the whole of Clarence and Magnolia Avenues; the later phase extending eastwards of Princess Margaret Avenue is a Wimpy-style housing estate with small houses largely identical in appearance and of less substantial build quality than the original 1930s estate.
The eastward expansion of Cliftonville has included much of the former parish of Northdown including Northdown Park and House.
West Cliftonville was originally developed as the up-market alternative to bustling Margate and had many small private hotels and guest houses with outstanding Victorian architecture which catered for the many visitors to what was in the first half of the 20th century a thriving holiday resort. Many of the large hotels have been converted into one bed flats; this has brought about positive action from Thanet District Council which introduced selective licensing ensuring that quality home improvements are maintained by landlords (2006) and restricting planning permission for one bedroom flats (2007). Cliftonville now has many of its streets protected by conservation areas orders and these have been introduced in (2017) by Thanet District Council. The seafront area once included many large hotels, including at one time a large Butlins complex. Some fantastic hotels remain, e.g. Smiths Court Hotel overlooking the sea, and The Walpole Bay Hotel. However, tourism and visitor numbers have increased in Cliftonville (2018) with the additions of newly opened bed and breakfasts changing the Cliftonville landscape, including the recently opened Cliftonville Townhouse Boutique Bed and Breakfast and the opening of the Albion Hotel by the band The Libertines expected late 2018. Northdown Road and Cliff Terrace have also had a resurgence, with many trendy and hip businesses opening since (2010) these include Haeckels an up-market beauty brand gaining international success with its natural products made from seaweed here in Cliftonville. Whilst restaurants and cafes are flocking to the area e.g. Roost, an up market street food establishment, Cliffs café, yoga, records; The Grain Grocer with its wholefoods store, Urchin Wines brings beautifully selected wines to Cliftonville, Transmission Records bring unique vinyl collection, Banks Bar Gins and beers, Batchelor's Patisserie continental cakes and coffee (which has been situated in Cliftonville since the late 1970's) and MarMar with its plants and café are all bringing an exciting new East London edge to Cliftonville. The Oval Bandstand and lawns host a monthly award-winning farmers' market (the last Sunday of every month) and during the summer there are a number of activities and events, including musical shows, held on weekends. The Tom Thumb Theatre and Radio Margate bring a host of music events and theatre to Cliftonville. Cliftonville also has a host of community groups that have been engaging with the community and those such as ABC - A better Cliftonville and GRASS Cliftonville are bringing about positive change within the community through positive community engagement.
The shopping area of Cliftonville is called Northdown Road and includes a number of main banks and building societies, larger corporate concerns including Boots and Tesco, a number of family run specialist shops including an award-winning art gallery, a post office, several pubs, many coffee shops and cafes, two churches and a number of estate and letting agents as well as an award-winning media company all along its two-mile length.
Cliftonville also has an indoor ten-pin bowling alley and sports bar, tennis courts, a bandstand with regular events including a farmers market, bowling green and the famous Winter Gardens theatre. Cliftonville is the home of local radio station KMFM Thanet.
During the first half of the 20th century Cliftonville was considered the fashionable hotel quarter of Margate. It was during the autumn of 1921 that T.S. Eliot spent a period of convalescence at the Albermarle Hotel, Cliftonville. His widow has confirmed that he found inspiration for, and wrote significant sections of The Waste Land in the Grade II-listed Nayland Rock promenade shelter.